Choose A Style That Fits Your Needs
Our owners have different needs and levels of risk they are willing to assume. Some owners have a good working knowledge of property management and just want help screening and finding good tenants. Other owners want greater legal protection and hassle-free ownership without the conflict inherent in dealing with tenants. This is why Class Act offers two styles of management services.
In this model, sometimes referred to as “Lease Only” or “Placement Services”, the owner signs an exclusive right with a manager to advertise the property. Class Act advertises the property, handles phone and email inquiries, shows the property, screens applicants, and meets with the tenant to have the tenant sign papers and pay the first month's rent and deposit money. The owner and the tenant sign the rental agreement, the tenant is given the owner's contact information, and the owner assumes all liability and risk for managing the property. Class Act is only acting as a “broker” bringing two parties together.
When an owner utilizes the Lease Only option, they are managing the property themselves. This includes responding to maintenance requests, supervising vendors, signing vendor contracts in their name, issuing warnings and late notices, filing eviction paperwork, filing small claims suits to recover damages, filing garnishments to collect judgments, etc. The owner assumes all risk of management on themselves and must do their own research to stay current with the law. The tenants have the owner's contact information and will file suit against the owner rather than Class Act if a situation goes bad.
The risks to the owner of this model are substantial. Instead of the owner having anonymity, and being hidden from view of the tenant, letting someone else take the risks, they are put on the frontline of litigation where the tenant has a clear view of them. Any legal actions filed by the tenant will name the owner as defendant, because they are listed as the Landlord, instead of a property manager being listed as the Landlord. The more you as an owner are involved with the day-to-day issues of managing your property, the more liability you take on. If you are going to act as a Landlord, you will be liable as a Landlord. If you are going to be named as the Landlord in the documents, you must be ready to defend yourself in litigation as the Landlord.
The enticement of this option is that you as the owner would have more control. Being in control of day-to-day operations brings with it certain risks and consequences and owners need to be ready to face these risks and know how to prepare for them.
In this model, the owner signs a long-term management agreement. Class Act executes a rental agreement with the tenant directly and does not disclose who owns the property. Class Act is listed as the property manager on the rental agreement and handles all interactions with the tenant. (If a tenant should somehow find out who the owner is and try to contact the owner, Class Act will send a warning notice and possibly fine the tenant.)
Class Act administers all warnings, fines, court filings, suits, evictions, and garnishments following the procedures outlined by Federal, State, and local laws, county court guidelines, and Fair Housing standards. Class Act enforces all rules contained in our 26-page rental agreement. Should a tenant file suit, Class Act will be listed as the defendant, rather than the owner. Class Act has been in court dozens of times and has always been the prevailing party (we have never lost a case in 15 years of management). Rest assured that our contracts, procedures, and policies are solid and will hold up in court.
Class Act sends contractors to the property as it's vendor and keeps the name of the owner off the record. All the liability for what the vendor does (or doesn't do) falls on the Landlord/manager instead of the owner. It is Class Act's insurance at risk when something goes wrong.
The difference between this Manager Style model, and the Broker Style model, are substantial. In this Manager Style model the owner is not named in the lease and is out of sight of the tenant. The owner is safely tucked away in the bunker, far behind the line of battle and safe from most of the liabilities of owning rental property. Class Act is the one fighting the battles on behalf of the owner and stands in the gap between the parties. Class Act acts as a liability shield for the owner and attempts to keep him out of the line-of-fire on property management disputes.
When you use Class Act to look after your property you can still be involved in all the important decisions. We don't pester you with small details, questions, information or “updates” about your property or tenants, except for those matters that will have a significant impact on your monthly cash flow. We simply take care of the things you have entrusted us to handle on your behalf. There is a maintenance spending-limit specified in the management agreement, and the management agreement requires us to consult with you for all major decisions. Class Act is not taking away your authority over the property but making minor decisions and protecting you from the liabilities of being a rental property owner. The liabilities of owning rental property are real, but placing a well-trained property manager as a shield between you and the tenant can substantially reduce them.
Correcting a commonly promoted error.
Some property managers tell their clients “you need to be involved in management decisions (or manage the property yourself) to qualify for the tax benefits of owning rental property.” This is utterly false. The tax code requires you to be the owner, not the manager, to get the tax benefits. Talk to a CPA and get this straight before you buy into this argument. You do not need to be active in the management of the property to get the tax benefits.
Another common mistake, promoted by untrained property managers, is the suggestion that “the law demands that the owners name be listed on the rental agreement.” This is simply not true. Oregon law requires that either the owner, or their designated agent, name must be on the lease, giving managers the option of listing the owner or not. Class Act protects our owners by refusing to list the owner's name on the rental agreement. We will never divulge the owner's name if someone asks, except by court order. (Property ownership is public information, so there are ways a tenant can find out who the owner is, but we do not make it easy for them.)
If you must manage yourself, Practice Safe Management!
If you decide to use our Broker Style placement services, see an attorney first and put into place some asset protection strategies. An attorney will advise you to add some levels of protection to yourself before you rent the property. These strategies will include such things as…
Deed your property to a liability shielding entity, like a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Land Trust, to get it out of your name and protect your other personal assets. If you are going to be listed as the Landlord in the lease, you need to be sure your other assets are shielded from the risks of owning rental property.
Boost the liability coverage in your landlord insurance policy from the typical $300,000 to $500,000 or $1,000,000. The cost is small and the coverage is absolutely necessary.
Secure a personal umbrella liability insurance policy. For about $300 a year you can have an additional layer of coverage to shield your personal assets from the risks of owning a rental property. This policy is inexpensive and covers a lot of your stuff.
Add a commercial liability umbrella policy if you have several rentals. Your personal umbrella policy voids out when you reach three or four properties. The cost is very low and the coverage is comprehensive.
Get with your insurance agent and make sure “if the agent sends a vendor to the property in your name that your policy covers the liability issues.” Many times it does not and you have to get extra coverage to address this risk. It's important you not assume you have coverage when someone else (the agent) sends a vendor in your name.
How to Get Started with Class Act Property Management:
Take advantage of the lowest prices in the industry! Call now at 971-599-1440, option 1. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- (Optional) Request a FREE no-obligation Rental Market Analysis comparison.
- (Optional) Download the Property Owner Handbook HERE to review our policies.
- Download the New Client Questionnaire HERE and return to Class Act.
- Visit our Pricing page HERE to determine what level of service you would prefer.
- Meet with a professional property manager to fill out our management agreement and additional forms. (This step can be done online if desired.)
We look forward to taking good care of your property for you. Welcome to our family of satisfied investment property owners!
In this section
- How We Manage
- Pet Damage Guarantee
- Placement Services
- Free Rental Comps
- Institutional Owner/REO
- Our Technology
- Questions and Answers
- Owner Portal
- Owner Handbook PDF
- Overview PDF Download
Contact UsWillamette Valley:
189 Liberty St NE, Suite 211A
Salem, OR 97301
587 NE Greenwood, Suite A
Bend, OR 97701
By Appointment Only
541-719-8200 Sales Only